Former Rogers Residents Lost Two Boys In Vilonia Tornado

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Two of the youngest casualties in the deadly tornado that struck Central Arkansas on Sunday (April 27)  were only seven and nine years old.

Cameron and Tyler Smith were the sons of Daniel and April Smith, who used to work at J.B. Hunt in Lowell.

The tornado that ripped through Vilonia destroyed the Smith's home, killing brothers Cameron and Tyler. The pain of those young lives lost is being felt by many in Northwest Arkansas who know the family.

"You never expect it to be someone you really know," said Kachina Edgmon, a friend of the family.

April and Daniel are in stable condition at separate hospitals. Daniel is at St. Vincent in Little Rock, and April is at UAMS, also in Little Rock.

Daniel was told about his two boys being killed on Monday, while April was told on Tuesday.

"It's pretty hard, especially when you have kids of your own and you've known these kids," Edgmon said. "That hits pretty hard when someone you know loses their children."

Before moving to Vilonia last fall, April and Daniel lived in Sherwood and in Rogers where they worked for J.B. Hunt.

Edgmon worked with April and Daniel at J.B. Hunt. Edgmon said she is coping with the devastation by reflecting back on the good times they shared.

"We all worked together at JB," she said. "We would get together on the weekends occasionally, and have cook outs. BBQ's were a big thing during the summer time with a lot of us."

Edgmon wants April and Daniel to know they can lean on support from their J.B. Hunt family every inch of the way.

"We are all pulling for them one hundred percent," she said. "We care about them and hope they get better."

April and Daniel are members of ThatChurch in Sherwood.

April leads the deaf ministry at the church, which is very near and dear to her heart. Both of her parents are deaf.

To donate funds to the family, click here. 

An alternative, for those that don't like donating online, is to mail funds to:

  • April and Daniel Smith C/O
  • ThatChurch
  • 901 East Kiehl
  • Sherwood, AR 72120


  • Misty Roper

    So sad, what are the details as to the childrens death? I mean were they in the basement or did they not have shelter? Were they given enough warning to seek shelter? Were they in the interior of their home or bathroom?

    • Diana Edwards

      I don’t know the details, but from pictures that I have seen of the damage caused by this tornado, there were a lot of homes totally demolished…no interior walls remaining. Just bare foundations.

  • happyme

    Warmest thoughts, sympathies, and condolences to this family and all who have ever lost loved ones in storms.

  • Al and Alice DeWitt

    I don’t even know where to start…
    My husband and I bought our truck through J.b Hunt in Lowell. He’s still driving for them and I sit right next to him. Lowell is our second home. We don’t know April & Daniel, but we also lost a son. We know the feeling. Our deepest heartfelt condolences go out to April & Daniel and to our Lowell family.

  • Crystal

    I truly feel for them. I lost 2 of my kids in the Joplin tornado almost 3 yrs ago. It is so hard. They will make it through w the strength they havent realized they have. Plenty of support is a big thing too….I would like to talk to them and co.fort them w my experience of the same thing…prayers and thoughts for them…

  • james mcmillan

    “I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world.”
    – Joh_17:15
    It is a sweet and blessed event which will occur to all believers in God’s own time-the going home to be with Jesus. In a few more years the Lord’s soldiers, who are now fighting “the good fight of faith” will have done with conflict, and have entered into the joy of their Lord. But although Christ prays that his people may eventually be with him where he is, he does not ask that they may be taken at once away from this world to heaven. He wishes them to stay here. Yet how frequently does the wearied pilgrim put up the prayer, “O that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away and be at rest;” but Christ does not pray like that, he leaves us in his Father’s hands, until, like shocks of corn fully ripe, we shall each be gathered into our Master’s garner. Jesus does not plead for our instant removal by death, for to abide in the flesh is needful for others if not profitable for ourselves. He asks that we may be kept from evil, but he never asks for us to be admitted to the inheritance in glory till we are of full age. Christians often want to die when they have any trouble. Ask them why, and they tell you, “Because we would be with the Lord.” We fear it is not so much because they are longing to be with the Lord, as because they desire to get rid of their troubles; else they would feel the same wish to die at other times when not under the pressure of trial. They want to go home, not so much for the Saviour’s company, as to be at rest. Now it is quite right to desire to depart if we can do it in the same spirit that Paul did, because to be with Christ is far better, but the wish to escape from trouble is a selfish one. Rather let your care and wish be to glorify God by your life here as long as he pleases, even though it be in the midst of toil, and conflict, and suffering, and leave him to say when “it is enough.”

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